Sundance Film Festival 2021: All the highlights from the comfort of your living room

Sundance usually occupies a slightly strange position in the calendar and is set in the middle of the award season, but there is program content waiting for next year’s cycle. It helped foster the image of the festival as a state-of-the-art American film space, where fashion houses preview products one season earlier than other seasons (“Oh, are you still talking?” ?? That Old movie? Well, this is the next thing. ”) But this year, I only want one year, but as the calendar moves, the position of the festival has changed.

Debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 12 months ago, including “Promising Young Woman,” “Never Rarely, Sometime, Always,” and “Dick Johnson’s Dead,” and worked hard to maintain momentum. Alongside the movies that had to be done, there is a competition for prizes. It’s a few shortcuts.

I wasn’t able to win here, I premiered as if I had won from the competition. Judges including Julie Dash, Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Oppenheimer include Sîan Heder’s “CODA” (US dramatic), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul” (US documentary), and Blerta Basholli’s “Hive” (World Cinema Dramatic). Was awarded the Grand Julie Award. ) And Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee” (a world film documentary). Audience awards follow in all categories except the last category won by Lintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s “Writing With Fire”. Please pin the list for the next few months.

Organizers, another virtual festival complemented by drive-in screenings, said they expect tickets to start at $ 15 and be the most attended sundance ever. There was nothing, if not destructive, last year, but the direction of egalitarianism that promoted the festival circuit, which is not always known for its accessibility, is encouraging. Whether you’re a professional critic or just a movie fan, we’re all tired of staring at our autumn walls. Everyone should have the opportunity to escape to a new cinema for a while.

This is the highlight of the festival.


Did you think there was nothing left to say in the Coming-of-Age genre? “CODA” asks you to be different.

In Sian Heder’s sophomore feature, Ruby (Emilia Jones), an adaptation of the French hit “La Famille Berry”, is the only hearing member of the family of four (CODA is a hearing-impaired child). Means). A high school student during the day and a deck hand on her father’s boat before dawn, she grew up over the years and served as a link between her family and the community in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Ironically, her gift is her voice, she has a crush on the choir’s class … and you can guess what will happen next.

The bones of the movie are familiar, but hanging in the frame are some of the original muscles. The gamecast gives Hedder a real conviction in the script of victory, as Ruby’s talent flourishes and she is forced to choose between her own path and “protecting” her loved ones. There are lots of laughter and emotional barriers, and there’s a turn to make a star from Jones (Eugenio Darves is also a highlight of Ruby’s teacher). This purely soothing filmmaking is hard to come by for now.


& Quot; run away & quot;

The Jonas Poer Rasmussen documentary was sold to several powerful distributors during the festival by Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) and Nikolaj Coster Waldau (“Game of Thrones”). An English version will be released. So expect to hear more about this description of gay Afghanistan flight from home in the 1990s.

Amin (pseudonym) is in his thirties and works as a successful scholar in Denmark. But for years, once spoken, he has lived with secrets that threaten to dismantle his hard-earned stability. As a boy, he was forced to flee Kabul, and his journey to the west was as dire as you might imagine, with more twists and incidents than Hollywood screenwriters could believe. There is. Like any good story, there is a re-draft, and Amin deceives himself as much as the audience. He has been forced to lie and live as long as they are part of him. Some elucidation is to be made.

Sun Creative Studio’s animations not only provide Amin with anonymity, but also evoke the past with stunning effects. Alongside the rotoscoping-style sequence, a whirlwind of suppressed memory appears in a hazy, rough flashback. These shadows of the soul find beautiful shapes.

“Pink cloud”

& Quot; Pink Cloud & quot;
Iuli Gerbase’s “The Pink Cloud” may always be known as a movie that predicted a blockade. I know that too. The line “Similarity to facts is purely coincidental” flashes first. Written in 2017 and filmed in 2019, the Brazilian director states that the blockade was used in various ways as a conceit to explore gender inequality. Looking at what happened last year, it’s not fun to know how right she was.

After connecting the night before, Giovana (Lenata de Relis) and Yago (Eduardo Mendonsa) woke up and discovered that a nominal cloud had fallen. This malicious whisper of cotton candy kills humans going out within 10 seconds and forces these strangers to play at home for a foreseeable future. This ultimately envisions our blockade.

The foresight of Gerbase (also a screenwriter) is impressive. Online plumbing tutorial. Danger of video calling parents; obstruction of rites of passage. Lack of protection for the most vulnerable people. That said, the novelty of this present image, emanating from the past, diverts attention from a keen commentary on a more universal subject, the big and small moments that can cause women to lose their autonomy. Should not be. It’s a pandemic movie, but it’s not just one, it’s a shelf that lasts a lifetime.

“Summer of Souls (… or when the revolution couldn’t be aired)”

& Quot; Summer of Soul (... or when the revolution couldn't be aired) & quot;

If you don’t have enough live music, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson stirs it up with his electric documentary “Summer of Soul”.

It’s the summer of 1969. People were on the moon, hippies went down to Woodstock, and 300,000 people gathered at Mount Morris Park in New York for the Harlem Cultural Festival. From Nina Simone to BB King to Hugh Masekela, a genuine person with black music excellence graced the stage and the crew recorded everything. Only the tape was lost. no longer.

Recovered from the basement 50 years later, Thompson will showcase these noble performances at the event, along with interviews with artists and speakers. With a nice touch, he also presents footage on his subject. They are suffering. This chapter of cultural history (its importance was known to everyone who was there, but was lost to many who weren’t) is the same as they remember it. I was surprised that it was so wonderful. “I knew I wasn’t crazy, but now I know it’s not,” said one interviewer.

The event, long known as “Blackwoodstock,” is uselessly limited by comparison. Now that we have the film, we have taken a big step out of the shadow of the other person.

“About 3 counts”

Jerrod Carmichael’s provocative debut is a pitch-black comedy that asks viewers to perform an emotional range and hold on to it.

Looking at the comic-turned director as Val and Christopher Abbott as his best friend Kevin, both suffer abusive past wounds. Believing they have no choice, they decide to die after the last day of unfinished work. This means visiting ghosts of the past, potentially murdering, and cruising a lot with Val’s yellow 4×4.

Writers Ali Katcher and Ryan Welch create a layer of dark humor, and actors inject enthusiastic energy into the minutes. It feels like a cousin of the recent achievements of the Safdie brothers. Not because Abbott, gray hair, and adorable eyes remind us of the “Good Times” Dead Beat Connie (Robert Pattinson) in appearance and recklessness.

But the stakes here are higher than anything the Safdie brothers have ever done. This is a heavy subject, and if treated clumsy, you may come across it as glib at best. Next, I would like to honor Carmichael’s achievements. Carmichael finds enough lyricism in performance direction and gravity to prevent “on the count of three” pitching into nihilism. Abbott’s Quiksilver Turn was also praised, demonstrating all the emotional acuity expected of an actor.

“In the earth”

“The enemy of art is that there are no limits.” Orson Welles may or may not have said, but Ben Wheatley’s “Rebecca” was solid proof that emotions were true. Fortunately for us, the director is a fun, ominous and clever effect of British folk horror, written in lockdown, filmed last summer and provided to the audience before the Netflix misfire corpse went. Cold to rotate and return to its small roots.

“In the Earth,” in the midst of a virus outbreak, presupposes Alex Garland’s “annihilation” shade, sending scientists (Joel Fry) and rangers (Ellora Tocia) to the countryside. , We are investigating unique biological activity. Soon-inevitably-they discover that they are not alone, and not everyone’s motives are strictly academic. “People can get a little weird in the woods,” warns one character.

Wheatley skips Du Maurier’s adaptation polish, looks down at the horrifying sights and gets dirty, with some trippy sequences and Clint Mansell’s score that scatters horror wherever he goes. It is reinforced with. It can be done with less explanation, but this is a funny exorcism of the devil and it is best to return to the director’s “kill list”.


& Quot; joy & quot;

Ninja Thyberg’s scorching debut is aimed at the American adult film industry, stripping eroticism veneers to find professional rivals, coercive colleagues, and patriarchal oppression. Although the film is said to be similar to other jobs in some respects, Thyberg has a clear eye on the differences: consent, a descending spiral to extreme acts, and commercial violence against the female body. Provides notes about.

Sophia Kappel, a 20-year-old Swede who emigrates to Los Angeles to pursue her career as Bella Cherry, will perform fearlessly devotedly. Coupled with a clever and unwavering direction, I dare to look away and downplay it. On the other hand, support casts sourced from within adult entertainment provide an additional note of reliability.

If you discover that “Pleasure” is widely distributed (and if it is if, this is obvious), there will be no small amount of pearl clutch at release. Originally destined for Cannes last year, we can only imagine the turmoil that it would have caused in its critical pressure cooker. From home, it’s clear that this thought-provoking movie has a lot to say if only those who choose to listen in good faith.

“Sparks Brothers”

& Quot; Sparks Brothers & quot;

Edgar Wright’s entry into the documentary came from the cult band’s love for Sparks, but there is also the fact that he had to keep explaining to people who they were.

Dubbed “the greatest British group of all time from the United States,” their patrol sounds passed through rock, pop, disco, and electro (staying in neoclassicalism), while Sparks alone .. Their decline and decline in popularity, and the spirit of art for their positive art, have made them influential within the industry. In the 70’s, they’re ready to look back at the album, but from the Red Hot Chili Peppers Free (formerly supportive act) to Giorgio Moroder (the producer of the album “No”), they’re ready to rate them. There are many celebrities. .1 in heaven “).

The central duo Ron and Russell Mael make a friendly but mysterious pair. And despite the 135-minute profile with a dazzlingly large number of interviewees, they leave most of the mystery intact. This is suspiciously perfect for them.

The Sundance Film Festival ends on February 3rd.

Sundance Film Festival 2021: All the highlights from the comfort of your living room

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